I thought of having my Christmas d?cor up early. December gets really busy and my florist, 59 Bloemen, takes care of putting up my d?cor every year. Dolphy takes care of the Christmas d?cor outside of our house. He is in charge of the lighting; the entire area has to be well-lit. In fact, our whole neighborhood in Marina decorates their homes quite festively. And all the lights stay until Chinese New Year (our community is largely composed of Chinoys). Since we feel we are Chinoy by assimilation, we partake in this yearly tradition. Everywhere you turn, early Christmas decorations abound. The air is suddenly different, too. It?s already a lot cooler at night. Pretty soon, we?ll be making Christmas lists, singing Christmas carols, and getting ready to change our parol lights. Have you noticed that the malls are getting more crowded? Even now that security is noticeably tighter, people still flock the malls. I know some of you may have plans of shopping early. Well, I?m just the exact opposite. I have a habit of shopping at the last minute. I like feeling the Christmas rush. I make my Christmas list two weeks before December 25. There?s never ample time to get the right gift for everyone, but I somehow manage to get (almost) everything done in time. And if there isn?t enough time, we always tell ourselves that Christmas gifts can be given until the Feast of Three Kings. I?m not sure if it?s just a Pinoy thing or something practiced by everyone. And don?t you love the parties? I love going to Christmas parties! Whether you?re at a friend?s house or a corporate event, everyone is in a jolly mood. Everyone seems happier. I also enjoy going to hotel lobbies to check out d?cor. Remember the time when Manila Peninsula would bring in a real Christmas tree every December? I?d get really amazed looking at the tallest tree to compliment the lobby?s high ceiling. The smell would be reminiscent of past Christmases spent in Baguio or abroad. I also like throwing parties at my house. It?s fun even when it?s simple. Almost every year, I throw an intimate party for my fans, whom I fondly call my angels. We have lots of food and drinks, and when everyone else has had too much to drink, we do karaoke until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. I just listen mostly. They hardly pass the microphone to me either because they feel I?ll hog it since I?m the only one who?s sober, or they?re giving me the chance to listen to them and applaud their performance for a change?role reversal, that sort of thing. Have you seen our Christmas station ID? I find it really nice and I particularly love the theme of the song, ?Walang Mag-iisa Ngayong Pasko.? The song talks about Filipinos all over the world being united. Neither distance nor hardship should be a barrier. Families should always keep in touch. I hope that the theme sticks to the hearts and minds of Filipinos of all generations all over the world, not only during the holiday season, but all year ?round. There is definitely no other time like Christmas time. I like the festive feel the season brings. And a thought just strikes me. Just in case dear old Santa gets to read this, I?d like to make my grown-up Christmas list a little early this year. Dear Santa, Here?s a list of some of the things I want for the year 2008. I know it?s asking a bit too much, but since you?re the one assigned to receive (and hopefully grant) lists from kids and grown-ups alike, I guess it leaves you with no choice but to take mine (sorry, I know it?s a tough job). I pray that you?ll grant even just a few of the things I?m wishing for. I?m quoting a few verses from the song, My Grown-up Christmas List: ?Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee.
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies.
Well, I?m all grown up now,
and still need help somehow.
I?m not a child but my heart still can dream.
So here?s my lifelong wish,
My grown up Christmas list.
Not for myself but for a world in need??
Santa, I wish for?
Wars to end
The poor to have a roof over their heads and enjoy three square meals a day
Our government to build a better educational system
Corruption in government to be exposed
Environmental awareness so we can save Earth
Freedom to the oppressed
More opportunities for the underprivileged
Justice for all victims
Better health care system
Sufficient funds for charitable institutions
More men to commit themselves to priesthood
Cure for cancer, A.I.D.S., Parkinson, Alzheimer?s disease and other ailments
Prejudice, hatred, bigotry, sadness, greed, and strife to end
Families to be united
Love for all mankind
I hope I?m part of your good girl list.
Everything in the list may sound like the usual answers of beauty queens during the Q&A portion of beauty pageants, but they?re what I truly wish for this Christmas, and they?re what we all need.
Just like a little girl, I can?t wait ?till it?s Christmas again. But unlike a child who innocently looks forward to opening gifts on Christmas morning, I no longer wish for material things during the Christmas season.
Friends, let us make each Christmas celebration something that will be worth remembering for the rest of our lives. And not in the least should we forget the most important thing of all, that Christmas marks the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let?s celebrate Christmas. Let?s celebrate life.
Early Christmas cheers, everyone!